Evolution of Management Principles
Evolution of Management Thought
The first known management ideas were recorded in 3000-4000 B.C. One Pyramid built by Egyptian ruler Cheops required work to be done by 100,000 men for over twenty years in 2900 B.C. It covered 13 acres of land and measured 481 meters in height. The stone slabs had to be moved thousands of kilometres of distance. As folklore goes, even the sound of a hammer was not heard in the villages in the vicinity of the site of these pyramids. Such monumental work could not be completed without adherence to principles of sound management.
CLASSICAL MANAGEMENT THEORY
Rational economic view, scientific management, administrative principles, and bureaucratic organisation characterise this phase. While the rational economic view assumed that people are motivated by economic gains primarily; scientific management of F.W. Taylor and others emphasised one best way of production etc; administrative theorists personified by Henri Fayol etc looked at the best way to combine jobs and people into an efficient organisation; bureaucratic organisation theorists led by Max Weber looked at ways to eliminate managerial inconsistencies due to abuse of power which contributed to ineffectiveness. This was the era of the industrial revolution and factory system of production. Large scale production would not have been possible without adherence to the principles governing organising production based on division of labour and specialisation, relationship between man and the machine, managing people and so on.
NEO CLASSICAL THEORY — HUMAN RELATIONS APPROACH
This school of thought developed between 1920s to 1950s felt that employees simply do not respond rationally to rules, chains of authority and economic incentives alone but are also guided by social needs, drives and attitudes. Hawthorne Studies at GEC etc., were conducted then. It was quite natural that in the early phases of the industrial revolution, the emphasis was on development of techniques and technology. The attention to the human factor was the salient aspect of this school of thought. This attention was to serve as a precursor to the development of behavioural sciences.
MANAGEMENT SCIENCE/OPERATIONAL RESEARCH
It emphasises research on operations and use of quantitative techniques to aid managers to take decisions.
It sees modern organisations as complex systems and underlies contingency approach and use of modern techniques to solve organisational and human problems.
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© 2009 Dilip Chandra
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